The Night Begins

He came to her, as he always did, to their chosen secret place, and she smiled as he appeared, breathing heavily from the long walk uphill.

“You’re too happy”, he grumbled, even before she’d managed to greet him.

“Sorry”

He sighed, “Don’t be like that.”

“Okay.”

Damian frowned, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything further. After all, she had returned to see him again, just as she had said she would. He knew it must not be easy. The tired lines around her eyes as she turned to smile at him made him feel a twinge of guilt. But he shivered at the thought of that empty, aching loneliness which was just waiting to envelop him once she was gone for good, and he cast aside those feelings of guilt. Now was not the time.

Cerid was watching him closely, a strange expression on her face as she watched Damian’s distracted frown go through a series of minor transformations, until he suddenly snapped his icy gray eyes on to her warmer brown ones, and even though she smiled comfortingly at him, the haunted look in his tired eyes made her want to cry.

But, Cerid had not cried since the war had ended. Not once. Not even when she had spent two weeks watching Damian destroy everything around him, until the cursing and swearing and whiskey and screaming was all done with, and all that remained in its place was his pale gaunt frame, surrounded only by endless destruction and stony silence. Her heart had ached as she’d watched, but she hadn’t shed a single tear.

Damian liked to believe that it was because she had run out of tears, and not because other people’s agony and pain affected her more than his. Cerid thought it had something to do with the last battle she’d been part of. Because she had had plenty of tears to shed that day. An all of a sudden, the picture of little Remo, lying in a pool of his blood, flashed through her mind.

He had been a day away from his fifth birthday. She had promised to gift him a real kite. He had been counting down the days. The day of the last air-strike… it was Roberto who had found out first. Damian had been in the middle of his own dilemma. Straddling both sides of the war, he had a difficult decision to make. Even though, technically, he would always be of the Shadow Tribe first. Ceridwyn had been at the forefront of the battle. And she had watched Remo die.

Ceri! Ceri!

She opened her eyes to find Damian kneeling over her, eyes full of worry, “Are you alright?”

She laughed, then, suddenly aware of the bizarreness of the situation. “We have to stop doing this”, she whispered, leaning up into the familiar frame of his body. He swallowed, once, twice. “I understand”, he said, “But what am I supposed to do?”

She shook her head at him, despondent and unsettled, “I love you.”

He looked down at her cautiously, then swallowed again, “I have always loved you.”

“And that’s why you can’t stay”, she whispered, smiling up at him gently, even as her eyes sparkled with waylaid tears.

The baby wouldn’t stop wailing. She knew that it was Arianna’s son. Arianna, who had trusted her and helped them escape when the entire kingdom was against them. Arianna, who now lay buried not far from here, shot in the heart with a poisoned arrow, even as her husband fought on in the Outer Circle with the other Marine Corps. Arianna’s son was trapped inside the burning building, and his mother was injured, and there was no one around to help him. Cerid had already lost a lot of blood. But she could hear the shouts in the distance, and it was clear that victory was imminent. She was just steps away from the designated Tower. She’d get medical attention there, and probably be able to send someone for the baby.

But it would be too late.

And as she turned away from the tower and towards Arianna’s home, for some strange reason, she thought of Damian and the last thing he’d said to her.

Dead to me.

He stared at her for a moment, memorizing every detail of her face as she smiled at him encouragingly. “It’s going to be alright. I’m always going to be here, with you.”

“So,” he began, in a shaky voice, stopping to take a deep breath and continue, “What you’re saying is I’ll never be walking alone.”

She beamed at him then, and for just one tiny moment, Damian forgot all about the last night of the Quarter Century War, when he had returned to the village only to find her overwhelmed and outnumbered against Assassins intending to eliminate all the noble-born children.

He had joined in the battle, and afterwards held her blood soaked body in his arms, as the cheer of celebration and jubilation rang out all around them, and the last of her life ebbed away from her. “Forgive me” he had cried, but it had been too late, and the only answer he had was the silence of the blankness in her empty eyes, just as she had promised him.

Sudden darkness. The hill was empty now. A cold wind rustled past the nearby trees, and a whisper trembled at his ear.

“You’ll never walk alone.”

Damian fell to his knees.

The night had begun.

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#YNWA Suarez

It. was. just. half. a. bite.

He didn’t attack or try to kill someone, for god’s sake. The man obviously has issues, he regresses to something primal when threatened, and yes, FIFA did need to send out a strong message.

But a stadium ban? And of 13 games for Liverpool? I mean, come on, that just sucks.

Suarez may have made a mistake, and while the act itself might not be justifiable or defensible, I think people should still support the player. He’s an awesome striker beyond compare. And no genius exists without a touch of madness.

Is it acceptable? No.

But, is it forgivable? Yes, I believe so..

And if Chiellini himself thinks so, then why are we judging him so harshly for something not a fifth as dangerous as a deliberate elbow to the nose, or a nasty ankle breaking tackle, or a head butt or a punch to the face? It was a moment of passion, it’s gone. Why do we have to condemn the man? If Chiellini himself thinks FIFA’s punishment is too harsh, why are so many of the LFC fans up in arms?

Chiellini on Suarez

 

You’ll never walk alone, isn’t that supposed to be it?

And, if you guys can’t find it in your hearts to forgive, support or love the man, at least give this article a read before you decide to condemn and slime him: Portrait of a Serial Winner

When do you think an ordinary player must walk alone, but we don’t let one of ours do that? Not when everything is fine, and the world thinks he’s great and wonderful. But when everyone else has turned against him… What he did might not be justified or defensible, but you can still support the lad. He didn’t murder or rape someone. It was just half a bite. Not even as dangerous as an elbow to the face or a violent headbutt or a kick to the shins or a bad tackle. It. was. just. half. a. bite. And if you really cannot find it in you to even support him, at least don’t slime him. That’s just mean. And base. And ungrateful.

I mean, he bit Chiellini, didn’t he? And Uruguay can find it in their hearts to support him wholeheartedly. So, what’s with all this hatred and mocking and taunting.

Really sad..

Why would he even want to stay in a club where the fans themselves do not even attempt to understand him? I, for one, would be really sad to see him go.. Has been a pleasure to watch on the field. And I’m proud that he’s in red, that he’s on our side.

A bite is not worth throwing your man to the dogs.

~ Mono no Aware ~

Something about this picture is just *too* precious.

World Class

World Class

It’s like all these years, the determined Prince marched on into war after war, watching his once proud army bleed and fall; saving them from utter defeat so often, but always moving further and further away from the dream and realm of victory..

Until the Empire sent forth its finest general, a horrific injury keeping him off the battlefield, but his mind as sharp as ever. The Empire thought it was just getting rid of a non-soldier in armor; transferring him to a war-front that was almost certainly lost.

But… from the moment the Prince and the General first met, they recognized something in one another that they both desperately needed; a relentless hunger for victory.

The General, he devised strategies for harder battles, filled up gaps in the army that prevented them from defeating smaller/weaker opponents, came up with tactics for every situation, and pushed every single soldier towards the best that he could be.

The Prince, for the first time in too long, flanked on all sides by an army finally worthy of him, led forth his young charges into battle after battle. And, inspired by his steely eyed determination, battle after battle, they emerged victorious.

Together, the Prince and the General, they reined in the younger boys, transforming their anger and frustration into an indomitable spirit of conquest. And, soon, the news spread like wildfire.

The Reds were on the March.

And they were Invincible.

And so, these two, surrounded at last by the fine young soldiers that they themselves had created, marched on towards their common goal. For the first time in too long, both for the General as for the Prince, Victory awaited.

[So, this hug. After a difficult battle.
“Thank you.. for winning that.”, said the General to his Prince.
The Prince shook his fair head and smiled nobly in return, “No.. Thank you.”
..
And not so far away, a lonely Victory shivered beautifully in her tower of glass, even as the men who had abducted her all these years ago stood ready for the final onslaught.
“My Steven and Brendan will come”, she whispered. And even though the men holding her captive laughed and mocked her, you could hear the fear in their voices.

Because they too had heard of the men in that army. The unstoppable Suraez. The faster than lightening Sterling. The always on target Sturridge. The mage-like Coutinho. The frightening Skrtel. And a whole bunch of other soldiers who only got stronger and better and faster with every day.

An army of red, led by two determined men.

Victory was rightfully theirs.]